It’s not working

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

We’ve shared marketing tips that worked for us. What have you tried that didn’t work?

I have to be honest, right from the start. I never intended to try to sell my books. I just wanted to write them to prove to myself that I could, to get the ideas out of my head. It was a hobby, nothing more than that.

Much later, I was persuaded that, having put all that effort into producing them, it would be wrong if I didn’t try to market them. Reluctantly and against my better judgement, I gave in. Now that I’ve started, I’m stuck with it and have to carry on.

The reason that I wanted my work to remain anonymous was simple. It had nothing to do with my perception of the quality of the product, although I’m not kidding myself that it’s anything more than mediocre.

You see, I’m an introvert, with anxiety and social phobia. In simple terms, that means that I’m not enthusiastic about sharing my life on social media. Consequently, I’m not a huge fan of marketing, it’s not a thing that comes naturally to me. I never had to sell anything while I was at work and to be honest, I hate cold callers and salesmen.

Not only that, I find the methods that I have to employ to make sales slightly embarrassing. I dislike having to say, “look how wonderful my book is, you should buy it.” No matter how you dress the language up, it almost feels like I’m trying to con people out of money in some way. But, as I’ve been told that there will be people who would like to read my work and there’s no other option, I have to bite the bullet and try.

For obvious reasons, I prefer the anonymity of paid advertising, but Facebook is a platform that doesn’t really work for me. I can get clicks on my ads but find that they don’t convert to sales.

This is strange as the same books convert at average rates with Amazon ads. The problem is, therefore, harder to pin down. As I get sales, it’s not necessarily down to my Amazon page but more likely to do with my Facebook targeting. And the thing with Facebook ads is that they can be expensive to test. Particularly after recent changes to the way they work, with the removal of targets and certain privacy issues.

I’ve also tried Bookfunnel promotions to build my subscribers list and get more book sales. While I get a steady stream of people who pick up my newsletter offer, and often go on to read the rest of the series that my giveaway introduces, I can’t think of a single book sale that has resulted from a Bookfunnel promotion. Clearly, I’m doing something wrong, the question is, what?

I’m constantly looking at my books and comparing them to others in the promotion, including their covers, blurbs and pricing. There’s nothing that really stands out that might put people off buying. As I said, they do sell elsewhere.

 All I can do is keep trying, until I find the magic combination that works.

Until next time.

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10 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      It’s depressing, but I’ve started so I won’t let it beat me.

    • Richard Dee

      I’ve accepted that, I’ll just keep shouting until someone listens.

  1. Alex Craigie

    I’m so with you on the embarrassment of self promotion! This post was actually very useful – taking it from the negatives.

  2. Colleen A Parkinson

    Richard: First off, you are not a mediocre writer; you are a very talented writer with skills equal to traditionally published authors! Now, as for the marketing headache, I use most of the services you use with similar results. However, I have found that timing my ads to the end of the month and beginning of the following month brings better results because that is when most people are paid and have a few extra dollars to spend. I don’t know if you have tried that kind of scheduling yet, but it makes sense and works better for me than mid-month. Your feedback on this? Would love to hear from you.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, it’s kind of you to say so. Much appreciated. I have a monthly budget and I always hope it will last longer than it does by being augmented with royalties. I will try varying the days that I use, but I tend to run out of budget before I get to the middle of the month.

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